does running make your legs bigger

Does Running Make Your Legs Bigger? The Amazing Answer And More

When it comes to running, perhaps you are a dedicated athlete who loves nothing but the feel of the wind against your legs as you complete that long, strenuous workout for the day. You also enjoy the feeling of getting into shape, especially if you had started out at the bottom as a beginner and now has worked your way up to the top. Really, you would not trade anything in the world for it.

That said, perhaps one of your goals in running is to develop muscles. While you might have recently seen some changes in your body definition, at the same time you wonder about a few things, one of them including whether running makes your legs bigger or not. You have been wondering about it for a while, and you would like to know if it is possible or not.

From this question, we are here to help! Read on to learn more about whether running makes your legs bigger, as well as get more of your frequently-asked questions answered. Soon enough, you will have a better idea of what to expect when it comes to getting in shape, thereby taking measures to do so.

Without further ado, let’s get started!


What parts of the body does running work out?

3d rendered medically accurate illustration of a runners muscles

While most people might have the tendency to believe that running almost exclusively works out the legs, there is so much more to it than that.

True, running does give definition to areas such as your calves, thighs, and glutes, but at the same time, it can target your core muscles, e.g. your abs.

In addition, it works out your arms and back to some extent, considering that you use them to propel you forward and otherwise support yourself through rough terrain, respectively.

That being said, running targets just about every body part, all the while enhancing your cardiovascular and respiratory systems for a stronger heart, stronger lungs, and overall a stronger sense of self.

Does running make your legs bigger?

This answer will depend on exactly what type of running you tend to do. In other words, are you more of a long-distance runner or a sprinter? While both focus on running, each of them do so through different methods, of which can yield different results.

For instance, if you often log in many miles per day, let alone each week, then as a long-distance runner you will probably have a slimmer build, hence slimmer legs. This is due to the fact that long distance runs focus more of endurance rather than power, so having less body fat in the area can make things lighter and more efficient in propelling you forward in the long run, literally speaking.

On the other hand, if you are a sprinter in events like the 100-meter dash or the 400-meter relay, then you probably will have bulkier legs. The reason is that, with short distances, you need more power than endurance to drive you forward at faster speeds, as means of accomplishing your personal record. Hence, it is advantageous to have larger, more muscular legs to succeed in this feat, and make you the best athlete that you can be.

What are some ways to get bigger legs?

Perhaps you are considering getting bigger legs, as means of becoming a better, stronger runner. If this is your goal, then we have a few tips and tricks to help you get on your way to achieving it. Down below, we list several for you:

1. Change your diet.

If your goal is to bulk up, then you will actually need to be eating more rather than eating less. The point is to gain weight, not lose it, in order to give your body something to work with for getting bigger legs.

A good rule of thumb to follow is to consume more protein, as well as a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid processed foods and, if you want, you can choose to opt for supplements to give your body that extra boost for changes.

2. Decrease cardio workouts.

Fit young woman using exercise bike at the gym. Fitness female using air bike for cardio workout at crossfit gym.

Sounds contradictory, but in fact, you will need to lower the amount of running and other cardio workouts, in order to be better at them. Considering that workouts like long-distance running slims you down rather than bulks you up, cutting down a bit will be the best way to go about improving in it, paradoxically speaking.

3. Increase weight training.

Collage of different bodybuilders images

Whereas you will be decreasing cardio workouts, you will be increasing your weight-training regime, as means of enhancing muscle mass for those shapely legs. Here, we offer a few examples that you can do:

  • a. Squats. Whether with a barbell or your own body weight, squats tone your thighs and glutes, which can increase muscle mass in those targeted areas.
  • b. Lunges. Similar to squats, lunges target your thighs (hamstrings and quadriceps), along with your glutes; it helps to have more space to do them, if necessary.
  • c. Box jumps. For a combination of cardio and weight training, box jumps (aka plyometrics) are a great, explosive workout that gives you excellent calves, as well as better fast-twitched muscles to succeed in sprints.
  • d. Leg curls and dead-lifts. Almost exclusively requiring weights, these are your standard workouts to target leg muscles one at a time.

4. Rotate muscle groups.

When it comes to working out the legs, it is a good idea to take it easy by targeting no more than two or three muscle groups in one workout- after all, you might get too tired out, let alone extremely sore the next day. Therefore, rotate muscle groups, perhaps dedicating one day to the thigh muscles and the other to the calves.

For more exercises, check out this video here: 


Overall, it depends on what type of running you do that determines whether you can get bigger legs or not. In addition, it comes down to training regime, should you choose to weight train along with doing cardio. In the end, you should be able to sport fit, shapely legs that are proud to call your own.

You are welcome to comment down below if you enjoyed this article, as well as share it with family and friends. We look forward to hearing from you!

Leave a Comment: